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CMOs Face Choppy Waters in 2023  

Chief marketing officers are headed into the new year under pressure from uncertainty around the economic climate and customer behavior. That’s according to research firm Gartner, which outlined the top CMO trends in 2023.

2023 calendar g827886717 640The first trend is that inflation and the cloudy economic outlook will affect customer buying in an unpredictable way, according to Gartner. As inflation drives customers to buy more store brands and do more shopping online, venerable brands will have their work cut out to keep consumer loyalty.

CMOs will face the task of doing more to maintain brand preference at a time when most customers will increasingly opt to not share enough data for marketers’ to track them effectively, Gartner adds. “Enhance the effectiveness of digital marketing by seeking opportunities for personalized engagements that genuinely help customers throughout their end-to-end customer journeys," Ewan McIntye, chief of research in Gartner’s marketing practice, said in a statement.

Another of Gartner’s predictions is that CMOs should be wary of collaborating across functional boundaries. A March 2022 Gartney survey of 405 senior marketing leaders found that those who called their approach “independent” fared significantly better against annual revenue targets than marketing leaders who self-described as “collaborators.” McIntyre said, “CMOs must adapt team structures and skills to advance new cross-functional operating models.”

Third, Gartner projects that new forces such as “disruptive market entrants, heightened audience expectations and the ease of digital learning about unfamiliar brands” will hurt traditional sources of brand value. McIntyre suggested a redoubling of focus on a “single meaningful brand experience.”

Elsewhere, a survey of more than 200 buy-side marketers by the International Advertising Bureau finds that overall ad spend next year is projected to be up almost 6% from 2022.

The top goal for 2023 media investments was customer acquisition, cited by 61% of media buyers, followed by increasing brand equity and boosting media efficiency.

Additionally, according to the IAB survey, 56% of buyers were at least considering investing in the metaverse, defined as “​​virtual, internet-based experiences that bridge offline and online worlds, where people can customer avatars, play games, shop, interact and virtually attend live events.”

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